Should Millennials Buy or Rent a Home?

A Washington Post article stated that one-third of Millennials (age 18 to 34) live with their parents, and prefer to live with parents as compared to roommates. A Fannie Mae Survey revealed that 93% of people in this age group said they still want to buy a home someday, but only 9% plan to do this within a year. Most are hoping to purchase a home within three to five years.  Young people are putting off buying homes primarily due to financial reasons.

Young people today make less money than previous generations, given their education levels, and are burdened by student loans, thus making it difficult to save. In addition, they might not want to be tied to a geographic area by owning a home in case a job opportunity presents itself in a different location.

Once the young set become more established with a good job, and perhaps marry and start a family they then ask the question: should I buy or rent?

Owning a home is a tax benefit, and offers the potential for increased equity and future gain. Sometimes mortgage payments are less than what you’d pay for rent. Many economists advise getting into the home ownership cycle to improve wealth for retirement.

Since the recession many people are staying in their homes instead of selling due to owing more than the home is worth. This has caused a low inventory of homes available to purchase in many communities across the nation. Zillow found that inventory is down 6% nationally over last year. This is another obstacle to home ownership.

The HOME program utilized by Bonner Community Housing Agency helps people of all ages with down payment and closing costs, thereby alleviating one of the primary obstacles to home ownership. BCHA has been successful at finding affordable homes in Bonner and Boundary Counties of North Idaho, and helping people buy those homes.